Here I Raise My Ebenezer
1 Samuel 7:12
1. My favorite hymn is one written by Robert Robinson. It is the hymn "Come Thou Fount." I love the melody of the hymn but even more the words:
Come, Thou fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above;
Praise the mount - I'm fixed upon it
Mount of Thy redeeming love.
2. I do want the Lord to tune my heart to sing His grace. There has been in my life, as well in all our lives, streams of mercy that have never ceased. All the blessings and mercies of God in our life call for songs of loudest praise. It is my prayer, that due to these mercies, I be fixed upon the mount of God's redeeming love.
3. It is the second stanza of the song that has particular interest to me this day. Some of the more modern versions read, "Here I raise to Thee an altar - Hither by Thy help I'm come." The original version reads:
Here I raise mine Ebenezer; Hither by Thy help I'm come; And I hope, by Thy good pleasure, Safely to arrive at home. Jesus sought me when a stranger, Wandering from the fold of God; He, to rescue me from danger, Interposed His precious blood.
4. I am particularly interested in the two lines, "Here I raise mine Ebenezer; hither by Thy help I'm come." The thought behind Robinson's words is taken from our text. We read in verse 12, "Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the Lord helped us."
5. Samuel took a stone and set it between Mizpeh and Shen. The location of both these places is debated and uncertain. Mizpeh means, "watchtower/lookout" and is the name of a couple of places in the Bible; one in Gilead and other in Moab. The name was usually used to refer to places that provided security. Shen means, "a tooth," and no doubt speaks of a crag or hill that was tooth shaped. Again, the location of these two places is uncertain, but between the two Samuel set up a stone and called it Ebenezer.
6. The meaning of the name Ebenezer is given in our text in the words, "hitherto hath the Lord helped us." The name means, "the stone of help." Because of certain events that had occurred Samuel erected this memorial stone.
7. I read about a fellow in Rome, New York that erected an unusual marker. Growing tired of the bicentennial celebration in the United States, Eskill Rmgdahl of Rome, New York, displayed a plaque given to him as a joke by a friend eleven years earlier. The plaque reads: "N.O.N. Historical Marker. On this spot February 29, 1776, absolutely nothing happened."1
8. Samuel's memorial marker was placed between Mizpeh and Shen because of what happened on that spot. Let's look at the context of the verse and see what it was that happened.
1. IT WAS A PLACE OF REPENTANCE!
1. We read in verse 1-2, "And the men of Kirjath-jearim ca ...
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